Closing his eyes Matthew Gideon stepped through what appeared to be a wall of ice, one that was contained within a large industrial doorway.Divergence Point: Charles Babbage and Ada Loveless perfect the construction of the Analytical
Engine in 1850, this starts a steamtech revolution and vast expansion of the British Empire.
Herman Hollerith goes on to develop the first programs at the age of 18, in 1878.
Unlike the slight stomach sinking feeling experienced in a Conveyor, his body felt as if it had been plunged into freezing water, simultaneously shocked and refreshed.
Opening them he stood upon a gantry, various lights had now changed from red to flashing green, a lab coated technician looked at him with bored curiosity.
In the same manner as the room from which he departed the chamber he stood in was very industrial, metal gantries, scaffolds and beams, in front of the platform he’d stepped onto stood a four meter high plexiglass barrier.
Beyond the barrier lay offices and control rooms, also contained behind reinforced windows and doors, the reason for the precautions was simple, whereabouts ninety nine per cent of World line transit was via conveyor, travel to Babbage was through the rarer Nexus Gate.
Its Infinity controllers couldn’t always be sure that someone or something might dial in!
He shook the sensation of cold from himself and made his way down to where a dapper young man, turned out in sharply pressed 1870s tweed suit and tie.
Gideon was similarly attired, leaned into the barriers retinal scanner and allowed its DNA analyser to extract a pinprick of blood, he waited several moments before the barriers gate chirped an affirmative and opened.
“Mr Gideon” smiled the well-heeled man, who he noted was wearing a morning suit complete with striped trousers “And you are?” he replied
“Maxwell, Terrance Maxwell, I am to brief you for your get going”
Gideon stepped in beside the local agent as they moved into the hall beyond the chamber, they briskly travelled the corridor leading out of the chamber and upwards via a flight of stairs. As they ascended the architecture became more in keeping with the year, red brickwork, wood and brass, stepping through a door and into a warehouse space full of crates.
By this time Maxwell had given Gideon an update on the current events and handed him a datapad, “As you can see, it’s quite straight forward, a scallywag gone native!”
He regarded the man “What do you mean by that Mr Maxwell?”
“Well, from what I can tell a rogue picked up on some fantasy World Line, who’s reverted to type!”
Gideon looked back at the profile and report detailing one Dai Blackthorne, he raised an eyebrow “This scallywag is an Iswat agent?”
“Um yes, there is that, Mr Gideon can I ask why you’ve been sent rather than an ICop?”
“Perhaps it’s because our lost sheep is Iswat” he replied
The pair had now stopped before the main doors of the warehouse, Gideon could see that Maxwell’s curiosity was turning into frustration, however he was unsure of Gideon’s place in the scheme of things and didn’t want to press the matter.
Gideon smiled “I’m a Survey Scout from the Penetration Division, Agent Maxwell!”
“More importantly I surveyed Babbage, cleared it for exploration and commerce” he added
“Oh, Mr Gideon, had I known” Maxwell stumbled
“Not at all Mr Maxwell, I can only presume that my knowledge of Babbage is the reason for my assignment, I see that a local scout has been recommended”
“Yes, gruff sort of fellow, however a native of this era”
“Sounds like a good place to start, where would I find him” Gideon quickly rescanned the pad in case he’d missed this piece of information
“You’d do well to start at the Temple public house this evening”
“Excellent” Gideon handed the datapad back to the agent “Gives me time to find my accommodation and settle in, Good Day Mr Maxwell you’ve been very helpful”
Maxwell nodded and watched as Gideon hefted his travel bag and stepped out of the Infinity facility.